ST. PETE BEACH — American Craft Endeavors, producer of some of the region’s finest juried art shows and craft festivals, will help usher in summer by bringing skilled crafters from around the country to Pinellas for a two-day free event.
The 27th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival will be presented Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach. Admission is free. For information, visit www.artfestival.com.
This annual tradition returns with artisan-created pottery, jewelry, paintings, and more. Featuring nearly 100 Florida-based craft artisans, offers a chance for residents to peruse and shop for practical and whimsical works of quality, handmade art while enjoying the beautiful Florida weather. Pets on leashes are always welcome to join their human companions as they stroll through the festival, which includes a full greenmarket of live plants, handmade soaps, delicious edibles and more. Adding to the pleasure of the outing, patrons can meet the artisans behind the works and discover the techniques and inspirations behind each creation. The festival also features a seasonal green market, including live plants, handmade soaps, delicious edibles and more.
A number of safety measures will be in place for the socially-distanced, outdoor event, including:
- All attendees are asked to wear a mask upon entering the festival, with the exception of children aged 2 and younger.
- Entrances and exits will be monitored for one-way traffic.
- Visitors should reserve free time slot at artfestival.com.
- Social-distancing is required between artists and patrons, and patron groups.
- Patrons are asked to stay home if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, awaiting test results for COVID-19, or show any symptoms of the virus.
- Guests are also asked to utilize hand-washing and sanitizing stations on a regular basis and avoid casual touching.
The annual festival boasts a vast array of artistic media, such as folk art, pottery, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, basket weaving, beaded utensils, candles, cork assemblage, fabric design, fiber quilts, fused wax and glass, hair accessories, handbags and accessories, handmade cards, leather, mosaic, wood, painted wood, plaster craft, and stained glass. All crafters remain on site throughout the event. Participating crafters are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants in order to ensure a superior event featuring diverse art media and the highest quality of original handmade crafts.
Joseph Ferris is among the Florida-based crafters who will be participating in this year’s festival.
Ferris began working with metal during metal shop classes in school. His instructor recognized his talents and encouraged him to enter the Michigan State Industrial Arts competition with a custom designed three-piece table set which he built from hand-formed steel. Ferris took the advice and placed first in the regional competition before winning second place in the state competition.
In high school, Ferris studied for four years under Eugeen Wolonick, master craftsman of metal working techniques. After graduation, he went on to Western Michigan University where he took on heavy class loads that included drawing and industrial design courses along with physics and mathematical theory.
Terry Andrews of Ocala also will take part in this year’s festival.
The award-winning glass sculptor uses copper and fused glass to create his unique and oftentimes whimsical sculptures. His work can be seen in private collections around the world and grace the permanent collections of the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the Carrolton Museum of Contemporary Art in Carrolton, Georgia.
Andrews also participates in juried fine art festivals across the country. This Florida native is also an accomplished musician. Originally from the Tampa area, he pursued a career in music until 1994. Always having an interest in glass, Andrews dabbled with the medium, first with blown glass and lamp work, heavy flat and carved glass sculpture.
His work has now evolved to include copper and fused glass sculptures. The fusing work is done in a kiln.
For information about Andrews, visit www.watersedgestudios.com.
Also joining the lineup for the St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival is Barrie West of Seminole.
West has more than 30 years of experience as a professional artist and has participated in art shows for over 20 years.
Specializing in underwater, beach and Harley-Davidson motorcycle scenes and light switches and murals, mainly works with acrylic paint to create intense personal moments. Her masterpieces are created in her studio where she literally works from sunrise to sunset. Her dedication to her work is shown through every piece of her art.
“My philosophy of life and art are the same: to create and enjoy,” West said in her artist’s statement. “It’s important to me that my art brings joy and happiness to all.”
Based in St. Petersburg, J.D. River has created an artistic style all his own. Using bold colors and loose brush strokes, J.D. River’s paintings encompass the energy of his subject matter.
“My paintings are a celebration of life and all of the beauty and pain that comes with it,” River said in an artist statement provided by event organizers.
Blending the styles of abstract expressionism with impressionism and pop art, River creates art that commands attention and will bring energetic life to any environment. Working in acrylics, his paintings utilize layers of colors on top of each other that give his work extra depth and interest. His art comes together with a certain amount of spontaneity. He doesn’t plan every color or brush stroke but rather lets the color and composition evolve organically. “I like to let the paint tell me what it wants to do,” River said. “I don’t try to force anything. My paintings never start with a particular color pallet or even subject matter in mind. It all just happens, and that’s what I love about it.”
Maykel Medina is a Florida resident artist. With almost two decades of experience, his versatile portfolio shows a variety of unique, handcrafted artwork inspired by human relations with marine life.
The story behind Medina’s art began in Cuba, his home country, at kindergarten age when he became amazed with the idea of "shaping" his father's rocking chair. Using a kitchen knife, he chopped the chair arm, without realizing it was getting ruined. Fortunately, his father was understanding but practical. While Medina dreamed of being a real carver to fix the mess he made, the cutting tools remained out of his reach for years to come.
Medina’s professional growth was limited until he emigrated to Miami in 2009 with his family. For over 10 years he has created life-size wooden sculptures, acrylic paintings, fine furniture, and other commissions.
About American Craft Endeavors
American Craft Endeavors produces some of the nation’s most exciting high-end juried craft shows in many of Florida’s vibrant downtown areas and popular tourist destinations such as the Downtown Dunedin Art and Craft Festival, the St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival and the Downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Festival, among others. The group’s founders personally select unique, culture-rich cities for their show locations, providing a complete outdoor experience unmatched by other festivals. All crafters are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants in order to ensure a superior event featuring diverse art media and the highest quality of original handmade crafts.
For information, visit www.artfestival.com.